The Middle East investment in space continues to grow as the region marches towards its vision for a science and knowledge-based economy.

   
 

6 January 2015 – Dubai, UAE: National investment in space technology is continuing to grow, as the UAE seeks to develop a long-term strategic plan for a solid and sustainable foundation for advanced space innovation and exploration. All of which is expected to aid the growth of science and knowledge based economy. Compared to the USD$300 billion international space industry, the UAE’s investment in space technology is already substantial exceeding AED 20 billion (USD 5.44 billion). Leading industry experts from around the world will meet in Dubai at the Global Space & Satellite Forum (GSSF) in May to discuss how commercial space and satellite technology is creating new economic, social and educational benefits for nations globally.

The forum will discuss topics such as space technology applications, innovative solutions; low-cost satellite developments such as macro and nano satellites; and how satellite systems are improving lives – ranging from life-saving developments in the field of disaster management to the delivery of entertainment media via handheld consumer devices.

Taking place from 26 – 28 May 2015, the forum, which is organised by Streamline Marketing Group (SMG), is a result of the close collaboration with the UAE Space Agency and Emirates Institution for Advance Science and Technology.

H.E Dr Mohammed Naser Al Ahbabi – Director General of the UAE Space Agency said: “We look forward to taking part in debating the key developments in space technology at the Global Space & Satellite Forum 2015.”

“We expect this forum to provide an arena that will showcase the competing commercially self-sustaining space programmes which are emerging as a direct result of new space technology trends, leading a new era of space utilisation similar to the one which paved the way for commercial aviation in the first half of the last century. Key to this, we believe, is the development of innovative space technologies and applications, some of which will enable low cost access to space and the emergence of affordable space exploration and human presence in space.”

The UAE Space Agency was established in July 2014 with an aim to develop the UAE’s technical and intellectual capabilities in space technology and leading the region’s entry into the era of space exploration.

“The UAE leadership has made the bold decision and firm commitment to keep our country at the forefront of this new space revolution by announcing the establishment of the UAE Space Agency and the UAE’s own mission to explore Mars. The newly set-up UAE Space Agency will send a clear message to the world affirming our status as a space-faring nation in which the space sector is playing a major role in the country’s sustainable economic development and growth,” concluded AlAhbabi.

With an investment exceeding USD 5.44 billion in commercial and scientific space projects the UAE is steadily progressing towards becoming a truly international player within the space sector. The investment in space technologies are shared among several companies and space programmes including Satellite Communications Companies Yahsat, Thuraya and the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) who lead the DubaiSAT 1 and 2 programmes.

H.E. Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director General of EIAST said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome the Global Space & Satellite Forum to Dubai in 2015 and also announce our participation at the forum as a Host Partner. The forum has grown significantly in strength, attendance and importance since it first launched in 2008. We have also been extremely fortunate to have active and generous support from the UAE leadership and UAE Space Agency.”

“Under the guidance of His Highness Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, EIAST has continued to fulfill its high level objectives and play a major role in space and satellite technology. This forum will explore a wide range of issues facing the global space and satellite sector, which is what makes it THE industry event to attend. Everything from Earth Observation, Remote Sensing and Small Satellites to Launch Systems, Space Exploration and the latest Research,” added Al Shaibani.

Developing solid space foundations and applications has proven its positive impact on improving the quality of life worldwide and on global economic growth, with benefits that extend beyond the borders of the space faring nations.

Biju Saith, Project Director from SMG said: “We have witnessed great success stories in the past which have emerged as a result of healthy informative discussions and debates by leading experts and decision makers in the Space sector during our previous GSSF events. The most important and challenging of which were the panel sessions on the value and benefits of having a regional Space Agency. That we hope has contributed toward providing an honest and realistic picture of what should be the expectations from having such a high profile Space organisation and the advantages that it can bring to the region.

“A major theme in our forthcoming GSSF event will be to provide a platform for the UAE Space Agency to showcase its aspirations and ambitious plans for developing the UAE Space sector. The Forum will also facilitate the gathering of space experts from specialist scientists and engineers who will present the latest scientific and technological achievements that humankind has made in its endeavors to understand the Red Planet, hence, we are looking forward to understanding the future plans that lie ahead, including those of the human exploration of Mars.”